Meeting Story Practice Exercise3
Edit and assemble these facts into a summary news story of 300-350 words.
Assume Harkensville is in your home state and that your story will be published
in print the day after these events transpired. Make sure your story contains
correct grammar, punctuation and AP style.
In his work “The Lorax,” Dr. Seuss created a character who spoke for the trees and on Tuesday,
Councilwoman Valerie McDuff (D-Dist. 5) said the Harkensville County Council was speaking
for its canopy and the trees that line county roads by passing two bills regulating the removal of
trees. Both bills go into effect in March 2018.
The bills seek to protect the trees with permits and fees imposed on residents and builders who
remove them, whether on private land or along county streets.
For nearly every tree that residents remove, Harkensville County now will require three trees
planted in its place.
With the first bill passed, the council took steps to preserve trees along county roads.
Known as bill 41-12, Roadside Trees, the bill requires anyone wanting to trim, remove or
otherwise work on a tree in the county’s right of way obtain a county permit first and pay to
replace nearly every tree removed with three more.
It took 19 drafts and multiple last-minute amendments, but the council passed the bill, 7-2.
Councilwoman Nancy Flora (D-At Large) and Councilman George L. Plante (D-At Large)
opposed the bill.
State law already regulates roadside trees by requiring those who cut one down get a permit
from the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
However, in 2009, state lawmakers gave counties leeway to impose stricter regulations, if they
Only trees that pose a danger would be exempt from the permit fee and the requirement to
replace it, as would existing stumps or stumps left behind by county or utility work.
Flora called the roadside tree bill unnecessary legislation.
Under the new law, the county will require an additional, local permit for roadside tree work,
which will cost residents and builders about $135.
Harkensville Electric Co. and other utility companies would not be subject to the new law.
It costs Harkensville $250 to plant a shade tree, and $150 to plant an ornamental, or smaller,
tree, according to county staff.
The roadside tree bill would require replacing a removed tree with one tree on site and paying
into a special fund to plant two others. The county will use the money in the fund to plant trees
in areas where it has very few trees, like its urban districts.
But if a new tree cannot be planted where the old one was removed, the permit holder must pay
into the fund for that tree.
While the first bill regulates roadside trees, and supplements existing state law, the second bill,
known as bill 35-12, Tree Canopy Conservation, goes where the county has not ventured
before, said Councilman Roger Bend (D-Dist. 1). The bill passed unanimously.
“We are making a very significant advance in terms of protecting our tree canopy in our county,”
he said of the canopy bill. “We are doing something that we have not ever done before, which is
saying the trees on private property have community value that must be reflected and we are
going to fight retain canopy throughout our county.”
County forest conservation law protects the canopy on lots larger than 40,000 square feet, but
the Tree Canopy Conservation law protects it on smaller lots.
The intent was to offset the effects of infill development where often trees are removed to make
way for new or larger buildings.
Like the roadside tree bill, the tree canopy bill would require residents and builders to plant three
shade trees for every one they remove. But unlike the roadside bill, which would only apply to
county right of way, the canopy bill would affect private property.
Under the new law, residents can choose between planting new shade trees or paying a fee to
the county. The county would use that fee to plant new trees in areas that have few trees.
The fees range from $750 for small areas to as much as $3,750 for areas between 20,001 and
40,000 square feet and would apply to anyone who is required to obtain a permit to control
Police Story Practice Exercise1
Write a hard news story for the following scenario. Your lead should follow
all of the journalistic style conventions we have discussed. Write only one
sentence of no more than 20 words in active voice. Use time elements that
reflect the news occurred today and will be published in tomorrow’s
newspaper. Correct any errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and AP
style if necessary. Your story should be 250-400 words.
It's early Tuesday morning at the Centerville Gazette. Making your usual
phone checks, you get word from the fire department about a house fire
early this morning. Deputy Fire Marshal Larry Johnson tells you the
The blaze was in a row house in the Cedar Glen section of the city. Address
is 245 Elm St. A family with two kids was asleep on the second floor.
Apparently someone in one of the bedrooms fell asleep smoking a cigarette
and that ignited the bedsheets. A neighbor who was up late watching TV
smelled the smoke and dialed 911 after looking out his window and seeing
flames. The 911 call was received at 2:45 a.m. and firefighters were on the
scene by 2:50.
It took firefighters about 30 minutes to extinguish the flames. The fire was
centered in the second floor. Johnson tells you firefighters using a long
ladder managed to pull the two kids out of their upstairs bedroom, which
had a window facing the street. But the two adults were in a rear bedroom
and took much longer to find. Johnson says all four family members were
rushed to St. Mary's Hospital. He adds that there was minor damage to the
adjoining houses but that no one else was injured. The house where the fire
started had extensive damage, he says.
You call St. Mary's. Janice Robinson, the spokeswoman there, says the two
children are being treated for smoke inhalation but are expected to survive.
She says the two are both girls, ages 6 and 8. She says the mother, age 36,
is in critical condition with first-degree burns over 70 percent of her body.
The father, who also suffered severe burns, was pronounced DOA. She says
she can't give you any names until next of kin have been notified.
Purchase answer to see full